3 UW spinoffs form major stem cell company

By RYAN J. FOLEY | Associated Press Writer

MADISON, Wis. – Three companies founded by star University of Wisconsin-Madison stem cell researcher James Thomson are merging into a single entity that aspires to be a world leader in the field.

Under a deal announced Monday, Cellular Dynamics International is joining forces with Stem Cell Products Inc. and iPS Cells Inc. Backed by $18 million in private venture capital, the new company is keeping CDI’s name and its headquarters in Madison.

“The new company has an ambitious goal: it intends to be the world leader in the industrialization of basic stem cell technology,” said Bob Palay, its chairman and chief executive.

Thomson said the company would focus first on supplying human heart cells made from stem cells to pharmaceutical companies for drug testing. He has long predicted stem cells would be most useful first in speeding drugs to market and pinpointing potential side effects.

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